Secwépemc Museum's History

From the Very Beginning

An Enduring Legacy and Cultural Richness

The Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park, located in Kamloops, British Columbia, is a testament to the enduring legacy and cultural richness of the Secwépemc (Shuswap) people. Our history traces back to a vision shared by Secwépemc elders and community members who recognized the importance of preserving and sharing their ancestral heritage.

In the late 20th century, a group of dedicated Secwépemc individuals came together with a common goal: to create a space where the stories, traditions, and wisdom of the Secwépemc people could be showcased and celebrated. Their collective vision gave birth to the Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park.

The Beginning

Officially Opening in 1982

The museum officially opened its doors in 1982, becoming a hub for cultural preservation, education, and community engagement. Nestled within the traditional Secwépemc territory, the museum’s location is significant, as it allows visitors to connect with the natural landscapes that have shaped Secwépemc life for generations.

Since its inception, the Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park has grown and evolved, continuously expanding its exhibits and programming to reflect the diverse aspects of Secwépemc culture. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, artworks, historical documents, and traditional crafts, carefully curated to convey the richness and complexity of Secwépemc heritage.

The heritage park, an integral part of the museum, offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the living landscapes that have been cherished and nurtured by the Secwépemc people. As visitors meander through the park’s trails, they encounter traditional dwellings, gathering spaces, and carefully cultivated flora that have sustained the Secwépemc community for centuries.

What We Became

Celebrating Resilience, Sharing Wisdom, and Building Cultural Bridges

Over the years, the Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park has become a vibrant center for cultural exchange, education, and celebration. Visitors from around the world have the opportunity to engage with Secwépemc elders, knowledge keepers, and community members who generously share their stories, teachings, and cultural practices.

The museum also actively collaborates with indigenous nations, researchers, and partners to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of Secwépemc heritage. These partnerships have resulted in groundbreaking exhibitions, academic research, and cultural revitalization initiatives that resonate far beyond the museum’s walls.

Today, the Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park stands as a testament to the resilience and vitality of the Secwépemc people. It is a place where ancient traditions meet contemporary expressions, where past and present intermingle, and where visitors can embark on a transformative journey of cultural discovery.

By honoring the wisdom and teachings of the Secwépemc people, the Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park continues to play a vital role in preserving and revitalizing Secwépemc heritage for generations to come.

Image “Indian Chiefs BC” courtesy of the Royal BC Museum